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Blue Chip Victor Pham Commits to Columbia
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From the outside, it seemed like the obvious choice.

Victor Pham is heading to Columbia
© Bill Kallenberg/CapturedInAction.com
Victor Pham's older brother attended Columbia and was a member of the tennis team. Most people figured Pham picked the school to prolong the family tradition.

But Pham wanted to choose the school that was the best fit for him. He didn't want anything to influence his decision.

After doing thorough research and visiting several colleges, Pham decided the obvious choice was the right choice.

His brother being a teammate was just an added bonus.

"I think the coaching staff at Columbia are tremendous, and I believe that Bid Goswami and Howard Endelman can help develop my game so that I can play on the tour," said Pham. "In addition, they are very caring coaches and have proved that they can succeed by reaching the Sweet 16 in the NCAAs last year.

"I also connected very well with the guys on the team when I took a unofficial visit. They were all very supportive and I felt that I was part of the team already. Lastly, Columbia is situated in NYC so I knew that the location was a huge advantage if I wanted to take on any business endeavors after my tennis career."

Pham, a blue-chip recruit from Saratoga, Calif., narrowed his college choices down to Princeton, Stanford, Duke, Penn, and Harvard.

"I always thought Columbia would be a good option, but I had a pretty open mind throughout the whole recruiting process," said Pham, a senior at Menlo School who scored a 2120 on his SAT. "I talked with most of the other schools I was interested in and took unofficial visits to see how I liked each school and the team members. It was a tough decision, but at the end of the day I think I made a very great choice."

Academics are a high priority, and Pham wanted to receive a quality education and play quality tennis. After participating in the Easter Bowl this year, Pham flew to the East Coast to spend two nights at the each of the Ivy League schools. He met with coaches, players, professors and students before returning home and deciding Columbia offered everything he was looking for.

"Above all, Columbia is a great academic school, and I always wanted to go to a school that - in addition to being a good tennis fit tennis - would challenge me academically and expand my intellectual horizons," said Pham.

Pham and his older brother, Richard, are two years apart. Although Richard had an inherent bias toward Columbia, he didn't pressure Victor to attend.

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